"Men cry. Fact. Men are vulnerable. Period. The days that unravelled were far from ordinary," Josh Lynott tells me, his voice coming down the line from his home in Adelaide.
Josh was one of a diverse and inspiring group of 30 men gathered from across Australia and New Zealand, for an immersive three-day experience – an opportunity to connect, sweat, and explore their full potential and impact.
With the goal of inspiring men by starting genuine and authentic conversations, we challenged the 30 men who attended to change the game - for all men - by delving into their life’s purpose and discussing what it would mean to create positive impact in their own communities.
The Huddle gives men an open space to take a break and reflect on their vision, struggles and goals. Josh Lynott speaks of positive vulnerability when created in a safe space. “The effect I witnessed was the ease that flowed through the conversations of 30 men when discussing and unravelling raw emotions. As a result, there was no ego in the room, no guards – simply humans. For those three days, the room was solely focused on genuine human connections”.
We spoke with three of the inspiring attendees from The Huddle, Jimmy Magner, Dennis Armfield, and Josh Lynott, about the three-day experience and what it brought up for them.
lululemon: What is your relationship with vulnerability? Did you experience a shift after the conversations during The Huddle and building relationship with the attendees?
Jimmy Magner: I’m a bit of the old school, ‘don’t show your feelings too much’ type. It’s how I was raised by a hard-nosed Irish father. A bit of the toughen-up culture. Over the years though, through reading, meeting people, and even seeing a psychologist throughout my playing days and after, it has helped me to be more vulnerable. At The Huddle it was initially tough because you were looking at 29 other men, which is intimidating, but it was amazing how quickly those walls came down when you started to ask meaningful questions and be genuine.
Josh Lynott: I really struggle with “small talk” as I much prefer to be an open-book and lay it all out on the table. Alas, I think I have a positive relationship with vulnerability. I believe that when you are vulnerable you allow yourself to create and form deeper connections with yourself and others. Genuine human connection is something I cherish dearly and without vulnerability, I believe the potential depth of connection is compromised. After The Huddle, I experienced a refreshed outlook—it was refreshing to see the importance that vulnerable discussions can have on others.
lululemon: The Huddle aims to empower attendees to delve into their life’s purpose and how that can create positive changes in their communities. What was your biggest breakthrough from this exercise and how do you plan on continuing to create positive change in your community?
Josh Lynott: I really enjoyed the “limiting belief” discussion where we wrote down our own limiting beliefs and shared them with a small group of other guys in the room. From here, we listened and discussed each other’s limiting beliefs and how we could quite simply remove these limiting factors we created for ourselves. I feel that by removing my limiting beliefs I am more equipped to positively impact those around me and the greater community. Moving on from The Huddle, I plan to keep working my communities to challenge their mindsets through workshops and events. From a sweat perspective, I am building a run club in South Australia. I want to develop this community to have depth far beyond running. I believe the importance of a post-run coffee chat is just as important as the run as it is a time where you often feel safe to discuss the things that are or aren’t going well in your life.
lululemon: Are you continuing to connect with any of the attendees to amplify the community impact you’ve already been a part of?
Dennis Armfield: I would be mad not to. We are all doing amazing things and together we can do more amazing things, I will be a forever supporter of these 30 men and would like to think, we all have each other’s back.
Josh Lynott: Since leaving The Huddle, the great man Dan Shinners—a.k.a. Squizzie—has helped with branding for the run club (Bayside Run Club—BRC). Jimmy Magner and I have also had a few discussions about overseas workshops for athletes in 2020. It’s exciting stuff, ripples will soon be waves!
lululemon: What were your thoughts leaving The Huddle and what are you taking with you from the experience?
Dennis Armfield: I didn't want to leave, simple as that. From The Huddle, I took with me an even stronger passion, a more connected community of males, tools, and learnings that I can share with others.
Jimmy Magner: I was blown away. In such a short space of time I was able to get to know such a large group of men on an intimate level. I learnt about adversity, triumph, and everything in between, and it was so inspirational. The tools that each individual used to guide themselves through those times both good and bad I can now try to utilise myself. Most importantly I made some new likeminded friends and some I think I’ll continue to connect with for a long time.
Josh Lynott: I am proud to know these men, the difference we will make and the conversations we will have. If you ask someone today how they are going, please stop and genuinely listen about how they are genuinely doing.